Special Olympics Unified Sports® joins people with and without intellectual disabilities together as teammates, each one a meaningful and equal part of the team. In schools, Unified Sports is known as inclusive sports and is one of the three components of the Unified Champion Schools strategy.
For many students, inclusive sports provide the opportunity to experience the joy of participation in a school activity, whether they represent their school as part of an interscholastic Unified Sports team, play on an intramural team, or simply have an opportunity to be involved in other inclusive activities.
Inclusive sports provide new opportunities for students of all abilities to discover their potential, challenge themselves, to represent their school as a teammate and leader and celebrate their accomplishments alongside their peers.
A Quick Path to Friendship
Inclusive sports provides valuable social inclusion opportunities for all teammates to build friendships, on and off the playing field. Through modeling genuine inclusion for the entire school community, all teammates are challenged to improve their sports skills and fitness. In the process, young people with and without disabilities increase their positive attitudes and perceptions toward their peers, establishing friendships.
Unified Champion Schools offer opportunities for youth leadership and whole school engagement. By encouraging youth to engage peers with and without intellectual disabilities, students can also improve opportunities for more inclusive sports. They might initiate a Unified Sports day or work with the physical education teacher to create inclusive recreation opportunities within the school day.
There are lots of options to train and compete in sports in an inclusive school setting. Find the right fit for you, from Pre-K all the way through college!
Questions? Reach out to Susan Colacello at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.